Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"Uber Just Agreed to Let a Labor Union Represent its Drivers in New York"

From re/code recode (they dropped the slash when they switched to Vox's platform on Sunday):

The agreement closely matches the one Uber made as part of a settlement of two employee misclassification lawsuits. 
Uber has struck a five-year labor agreement with the New York arm of the International Association of Machinists that allows the union to represent the company's more than 35,000 drivers in the city.
Under the agreement, the IAM has developed a separate affiliate group called the Independent Drivers Guild (the operative word being "independent") through which drivers can meet with Uber's management on a "regular basis" and appeal deactivations.

Uber's agreement with IAM is practically a carbon copy of the terms of a settlement the company agreed to forge in order to put a pair of misclassification lawsuits to rest in California and Massachusetts. Under that agreement, the company agreed to facilitate the creation of a driver association that would meet with Uber regularly, along with a deactivation-appeals panel, so long as Uber was allowed to continue to treat drivers as independent contractors.

But the driver associations created through both the IAM agreement and the settlement agreement stop just short of being unions: Drivers still can't collectively bargain for changes in fares....
It then degenerates into some sort of loyalty/rewards affinity marketing deal:
..."Drivers will also gain access to discounted legal services, life and supplemental disability insurance, education courses and roadside assistance, along with an online worker center, providing a central hub for driver assistance and resources," IAM wrote in a statement....MORE